The award winning producer Ellen Kent returns this spring following her previous critically acclaimed British and Irish national tours of Nabucco, Aida and La Boheme with stunning traditional productions of Puccini’s masterpiece, Madama Butterfly, (Opera of the Year Award – Liverpool Daily Post) and Verdi’s La Traviata and Rigoletto.
Madama Butterfly, La Traviata and Rigoletto have been designed by the renowned Ukrainian designer Nadia Shvets from the National Ukrainian opera of Kharkiv. They feature a host of international soloists from the national operas of Odessa, Spain and Rostov and the support of the National Philharmonic in Chisinau. Kent has had many adventures over the past 22 years producing operas from Eastern Europe, working with Presidents and National opera houses throughout.
Award winning producer Ellen Kent said: “My operas have to be emotional and beautiful. Mine isn’t minimalist – its traditional opera with a sexy feel.”
The British and Irish tour starts on 4 February in Llandudno with Rigoletto, and finishes on 3 May in Dartford. The tour of the three productions covers 70 dates in 48 venues.
Puccini MADAMA BUTTERFLY
Madama Butterfly is Puccini’s popular tale which the hit West End musical Miss Saigon is based. International Korean soprano Elena Dee, whose emotional portrayal of Mimi in Ellen Kent’s recent La Boheme received such high praise, will be singing the role of the tragic Cio Cio San. Zinevych who’s Rudolpho in La Boheme so captured hearts and who has sung with Pavarotti returns with the 70 strong company to perform his Pinkerton. Making his debut as Pinkerton in an Ellen Kent production is the Spanish Tenor Giorgio Meladze. Originally from Georgia, he has acquired critical acclaim in Europe, singing in Milan, Spain and across Europe. Giorgio Meladze sang with Jose Carreras at the Austrian opera festival Tiroler Festspiele Erl this summer.
Music is provided by the esteemed Chisinau National Philharmonic orchestra and conducted by Nicolae Dohotaru.
“Her voice has clarity and soaring emotion.” The Stage, Kevin Berry (Elena Dee)
Madama Butterfly – the heart-breaking story of the beautiful Japanese girl, who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant, resulting in heart wrenching drama. This magnificent production boasts beautiful sets and costumes and a large live orchestra. Highlights of the performance include the melodic Humming Chorus, the moving aria One Fine Day and the unforgettable Love Duet. As with any of Ellen Kent’s shows all of the soloists have been hand-picked and directed by Ellen to create a visually beautiful and moving production of Madama Butterfly.
“Above all it was a production which captured the raw emotion at the centre of the opera. Don’t take a handkerchief with you, take a box of them.” The Independent
“This is a butterfly to cherish” Manchester Evening News.
Verdi LA TRAVIATA
Starring Elena Dee and Alyona Kistenyova
The love story that gripped Paris
Back by public demand
A tragic tale of searing passion and memorable music, La Traviata is Verdi’s outstanding interpretation of one of the most popular love stories of the 19th century, La Dame aux Camelias.
Based on a true story, it tells of the passionate loves and life of the consumptive courtesan, Violetta. There are many echoes of Verdi’s own life in Traviata and he threw himself into the music. The highlights include the Brindisi, the best known drinking song in opera, the duet Un Di Felice and Violetta’s haunting aria Addio Del Passato.
This magnificent production boasts sumptuous sets and costumes.
‘First-rate singing’ THE STAGE
‘Uplifting, charming, heroic and finally tear-jerking’ LIVERPOOL ECHO
‘Alyona Kistenyova has a lovely soprano voice and sang with precision and excellent tone’ MANCHESTER THEATRE AWARDS
The masterpiece they tried to ban
Starring Vladimir Dragos as Rigoletto
Featuring a magnificent golden eagle with a seven-foot wingspan and two royal greyhounds.
A stunning traditional production recapturing the decadence of Renaissance Italy with lavish sets and opulent costumes
Verdi’s masterpiece Rigoletto is a dramatic tale of the jester’s daughter whose heart is stolen by a charming but unreliable ruler – and how her father’s attempts to prevent the love affair lead to tragedy. The opera was almost banned because it exposed the licentious behaviour of the powers-that-be at court.
Featuring the two of the most celebrated tenor arias La Donna è Mobile and Questa o Quella justly turned into classics by Caruso, Rigoletto is based on a play by Victor Hugo, who wrote Les Miserables.
Gilda is sung by Alyona Kistenyova, the celebrated international soprano from the Ukrainian National Opera of Odessa. The Duke is sung by the international Spanish tenor Giorgio Meladze who sang with Jose Carreras at the Austrian opera festival Tiroler Festspiele Erl this summer.
‘Brilliantly sung by Vladimir Dragos’ The Times (Royal Albert Hall)
‘Alyona Kistenyova made a touchingly beautiful Gilda and her arias were pure and sweet’ Irish Examiner, Autumn 2014
For further information visit www.ellenkent.com